Just over one year ago, I had the honour of meeting Sophie at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre, who had been battling with anorexia for almost 8 years, She told me that she felt like she was drifting away, that her physical and mental health was deteriorating and was desperate to change her life.
Unlike what most people would expect from a personal trainer, we spent our first lot of ‘sessions’ just talking about what was going on, how she felt, and finding out one or two foods she felt she could incorporate into her diet each time. It was a real struggle for her, and I am so immensely proud of her for overcoming the mental battles she had to overcome, when she was thinking she was over eating and that she should stop. I am truly humbled that she continued to have faith in what we were doing, even during her hardest times.
This carried on for several months, talking, listening, sharing, trying different things. Then, after 6 months of training with me, she brought me her results from her doctor. It was the day she thought would never come – she had achieved a healthy weight for the first time in her life!
YES! YES! YES! Well done girl!
In addition to reaching a healthy weight, the tests revealed that her hormone levels and blood counts were also in the ‘normal’ threshold for the first time for a long, long time.
Sophie had started feeling better within herself as well, and was feeling more positive about life. For the first time she could see that it was possible to escape the grasp of anorexia. Don’t get me wrong the struggle was still very real, very strong, but we got her through it by talking on a very regular basis.
Another huge milestone has also been reached by Sophie; she has just managed to have her first full night of uninterrupted and restful sleep for as long as she can remember.
Now Sophie is training with me at least once a week, getting fitter and stronger all the time; not only physically but mentally too. She is now paying her success forward and is fundraising for Beat (a UK based eating disorder charity), by organising numerous events around Bradley Stoke.
Sophie’s life has changed so much since the first time we met, she also nominated me for an award at the recent Stars of the Stokes.